This week in Ottawa, NDP MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam-Port Moody Fin Donnelly reintroduced two private members bills he authored last year. The first calls for a legislated ban on oil supertanker traffic on BC’s North and Central Coast. The second, called the Wild Salmon Protection Act, calls for open net pen salmon farms to be transitioned to land-based closed-containment technology.
Donnelly reintroduced his oil supertanker bill yesterday, seconded by BC MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Nathan Cullen, whose riding would encompass much of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline route and tanker port in the coastal community of Kitimat.
“British Columbians have been clear. They want to protect our north coast and permanently ban oil tanker traffic though the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance and Queen Charlotte Sound,” said New Democrat Fisheries and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly. “A major spill off BC’s north coast would be catastrophic to the ecosystem and would negatively affect the economy in this area.”
A recent poll reconfirmed 80% of British Columbians oppose oil tanker traffic off the province’s rugged north coast – which is consistent with polling figures over the past year.
Donnelly said in Ottawa, “I urge Parliament to consider the risks associated with oil super tankers travelling off BC’s north coast and legislate a permanent ban.”
As the NDP’s Fisheries Critic, Donnelly has also been pushing his wild salmon bill in Ottawa for over a year now, with support from the likes of renown biologist Alexandra Morton, Hollywood icon and sports fisherman William Shatner, Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Broughton First Nations, and famed Vancouver chef Robert Clark.
According to Donnelly, “The bill would direct the Fisheries Minister to develop, table and implement a transition plan to move to closed containment.”
“My bill has received tremendous support since I first introduced it in Parliament last year,” said Donnelly. “Thousands of British Columbians have signed postcards and petitions to encourage the federal government to adopt this legislation. I hope that the federal government will listen and pass this critical legislation.”